Archive for the ‘Spices’ Category

Beets and Feets

September 8, 2010

This past Sunday my friends Dawne-O and James invited me to help jar/can/pickle vegetables. It was a perfect fallish day for canning, you know the kind of day where you are with good friends, the house is warm with the smell of the pork butt (“high roasted with spices and sea salt and pepper at 450 for about an hour, then covered and cooked for another 4+ hours at about 300”) your friend so thoughtfully prepared in advance for dinner. The kind where one or two of the friends has had stayed up partying until 4 am a little to much to drink the night before but are happy and safe knowing their other friends will comfort them if they burst into tears from vodka depression. The kind where your playlist spans The Little River Band to Vampire Weekend.

James arrived with 20lbs of green beans and enough beets and other vegetables to feed that family of 30 kids on TLC for a week.

Dawne-O made the brines both for the beans and the beets. I emailed her for the recipe and she sent me the following instructions – “Beans, which I doubled, quintupled, etc., started out as 4 cups white pickling vinegar to 4 cups water, scant half cup pickling salt, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons dried chili pepper, 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, 2 tablespoons mustard seed, 2 tablespoons coriander and 2 bay leaves. Bring to rolling boil and then ladle over prepared (sterilized and filled) jars and leave 1/2″ head space. Process for ten minutes.”

The brine for the beets is slightly different – “Beets – 2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar to 1 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon pickling salt, 1 tablespoon mustard seed, star anise, cloves cardamom. These are processed for 30 minutes. Again, this was multiplied.”

Both the beans and beets require blanching before they are canned.

Pouring the brine into the jars.

Into the canner for processing.

And there you have it, winter rations for all.

You have all heard me talk about my friend Dawne-O before, she’s kind of amazing when it comes to food. She announced that she was going to make us a peach tarte tatin for dessert promptly blanching and disrobing a half a dozen freshly picked Okanagan peaches of their skins. FYI, according to Dawne she used pate brisee for the pastry, not puff, which is classic. Delish!

Naked peach alert!

While waiting for our pork butt to warm I began complaining about my sore feet. Mike mentioned that we should call the nice people at Golden Feet to see if they could accommodate all four of us at the same time for foot rubs. Mike and Dawne have been going to Golden Feet for some time now and have invited me to join them on a number of occasions. I was skeptical and a little weirded out about having my feet and especially my vulnerable pinky toes handled by a complete stranger. It was amazing!!! Seriously make an appointment today, it will change your life.

The only things I found odd about the whole experience where the cost (only $37 for an hour!), the soccer ball light fixture in the room which in the end we chalked up to feet = soccer, and the fact that the song What Child Is This played at least three times.


Pho sho!

March 30, 2010

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m telling you for my own selfish reason really. It’s a place called Pho Number One and it serves the best Vietnamese food in the city…Pho sho!. I’m telling you about it out of fear it could one day go away, the more people I can introduce to it the less possibility I will ever have to live without it.

Seriously though, you have to go try it yourself. The rare beef noodle soup is so delicious I could eat it everyday. The BBQ’d beef Vietnamese sub will blow your mind. Thinly sliced, perfectly marinated beef, the bread is soft but also a little crispy and filled with shredded carrot, cilantro, a radish like vegetable and secret Vietnamese mayo. My buddy Mike and I have ordered as many as three of these in one sitting and eaten them all, at $4 each why wouldn’t you?.

Do yourself a solid and visit Andrew (pictured below) and his Mom at Pho Number One today!.

Andrew with two bowls of phrack (pho crack)

Rare Beef Noodle Pho and fixings

The best Vietnamese sub in Vancouver

Mystery chilli oil

Oh don’t forget the chilli oil, it’s a must on both the soup and the sub.

Bakers Balance

March 15, 2010

Anyone who looks at my blog on a semi / regular basis has probably noticed the link in my blog roll to Bakers Balance. Bakers Balance is my friend Dawne-O’s blog and is in my opinion the best clean eating food blog in Vancouver and perhaps the world. It is full of great knowledge and recipes and the writing is witty and funny with proper grammar and spelling and everything. On top of that all of the stunning images are shot by Dawne-O herself. So in case you missed it, check out Bakers Balance today!.

Learn how to make your own home made mootard right here!

Photos from the spice rack

June 30, 2009


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